Syracuse Granted $965,000 for Housing Programs

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Tyronda James
tyrondajames@gmail.com

Syracuse Common Councilor Khalid Bey

Syracuse Common Councilor Khalid Bey

The City of Syracuse will be receiving a $965,000 grant to help address housing issues, announced Attorney General Letitia James.

The grant is through the Cities for Responsible Investment and Strategic Enforcement (Cities RISE) program, which aims to rebuild vacant or dilapidated properties using housing and community data.

Launched in April 2017, Cities RISE funding comes from a 2016 settlement with Goldman Sachs as a result of the foreclosure crisis.

“In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis, families throughout the Syracuse region are continuing to struggle to find quality, affordable housing options,” James said.

“Cities RISE is an important program that allows cities across New York to better address code enforcement policies in an effort to meet the unique needs of their communities. Using the funds secured from settlements with banks, my office will continue to work with municipalities to combat New York’s ongoing housing crisis.”

Overseeing the initiative is Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), which specializes in affordable housing development. Partners include urban planning nonprofit Hester Street Collaborative and Tolemi, technology creators of the platform BuildingBlocks.

As part of the program, the City will hire and train residents to serve in leadership capacities as community ambassadors in their neighborhoods, to enforce codes and address housing-related issues.

“Many Syracuse residents have long suffered sub-par living conditions due to the fairly recent housing crisis and negligent landlords,” said Syracuse Common Councilor At-Large President and Pro-Tem Khalid Bey.

“The Attorney General’s contribution will go a long way in our effort to improve housing throughout the City of Syracuse.”

Over the last year, Syracuse and the remaining municipalities have worked on developing new program strategies and to improve code enforcement.

The City partnered with Syracuse University law students to increase the code enforcement capacity to better resolve cases.

Syracuse City Council President Helen Hudson says the opportunity could not have come at a better time for the City of Syracuse and its residents.

“It is working together, with all levels of government that ensures the change in cities and communities that have yet to recover from the economic downturn,” Hudson said.